If you've been following our series on creative ruts, you'll know that they're: a) fairly common; and b) fairly complex. Figuring out the cause (or causes, as these issues are often intertwined) of your brain block is key to untangling the creative thread.
CREATE AN INSPIRING WORK SPACE:
Imagine what your favorite coffee shop (or that unique place you escape to) looks like. What colors are used on the walls or accented in the decor? How does this space inspire you to visit time and time again? Write it down, make an inspiration board on Pinterest, go to your local paint shop, and get to work. The benefit? You will maximize your creativity by creating a well thought out and de-cluttered workspace, a place just for you.
One of the (many) perks of being your own boss is that you are the mastermind behind your work space design. No cubicles for us! We have the luxury of working in the best environment, so what's been holding you back from creating it? Make sure the color you choose is uplifting and positive, playful with a touch of professionalism, but above all else, a color that instantly brings you joy and represents your personality. Next up, gather your favorite photographs, artwork, and decorative pieces; work all these details into your space. Keep your books, notebooks of ideas and doodles, and magazines on side tables. Try making an inspiration board with a collection of fun and happy snapshots, inspiring quotes artfully written, and a note from your love. Display heartfelt mementos with meaning. Add some extra life to your space with your favorite plant.
Once your workspace is created, the work doesn't stop. You must keep up with it! At the end of each work day, be sure to organize and tidy up your inspirational nook. In fact, be sure to schedule this as the last task you must complete before you call it a day. (You will thank us!) By creating a workplace that has you constantly inspired and motivated with positive feelings, you will find these feelings trickle back into your work and will allow an abundance of innovative ideas.This place is your safe haven, where any idea is achievable, filled with hopes and dreams. Â And, once you create this place, we promise you, some of the extra stress that you usually feel in your personal life will unravel and dissolve because at least there is one place in your life that is in order.
The branching out message is clear: when we add new skills and types of photography to our repertoire we gain much more than a bigger income. When your burnout is severe, consider adopting a personal photography project in a different genre, even if it won't generate any income. When you shoot for yourself--with no pressure, no money changing hands, and literally no one to please--you will feel yourself open to taking more risks. Â Shooting for yourself will remind you of the initial reasons why you became a photographer in the first place. Our one caveat to this? If your burnout is caused by lack of time (to run your business and spend with your family), then you'll definitely have to back away from some of your responsibilities to take on a new project. Make sure this doesn't add more stress to your life.
An added bonus: not only do personal projects provide killer portfolio pieces, but they also may change your career direction, pushing you toward another type of photography you want to pursue. (The direction that you are meant to go in!)
Being creative is hard work. We must be aware of the challenges inherent in a creative life by embracing the daily things that keep the fire of our creativity lit”“whether those things are as simple as the way the light falls into your kitchen nook on a Sunday morning, how your wife's hair tumbles onto her face when she is making the morning coffee, and the interaction and expressions of love and humanity shown between your children or two strangers in the grocery store. Creativity is everywhere and in everything. Find it, and let it inspire you to make it your own art.What keeps your work fresh and creative? We would love to know!
Less is more.
Too many people attempt to do it all. Remember that kid in middle school who tried to be the all star on the dodgeball team? Nobody liked him, and he only got in everybody’s way. Focusing on one particular skill, direction, goal, project etc. takes work and effort. The drive and desire to have your hands in a little bit of everything needs to be suppressed.